The Half Way Point with Bittomo Kirameki Powers

Well, as of last December Bittomo x Senshi Kirameki Powers hit it’s half-way point with episode twenty-five of fifty-one planned episodes. I figured since this is one of the longer running series I’ve watched I should make some time to come back and talk about it a bit.

I’m not going to lie; I’m pleasantly surprised and regularly have my expectations subverted with this series. Despite not being a well versed magical girl, and tokusatsu series I’m aware of the troupes and standards for either genre. Throw in the formula of RPG games and I’ll admit – I had my theories for how the story would progress. But, I didn’t anticipate how it would actually go and that’s honestly been a lot of fun.

Following this up, is that I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the characters. The main characters are kids after all, Kirapower Sunny’s actress (Nagayama Tsubaki) is all of eleven years old and the oldest of their group being fifteen. It’s not some super nuanced performance that’s blowing me out of the water. The main cast is still super cheery and sparkling with optimism but they aren’t annoying to watch. You can tell they’re super coached on set, the behind the scenes show as much, but they’re doing an exceptional job with what they’re given.

Similarly, I appreciate that villains are fun to watch. There’s a lot of unnatural acting at play, I mean Malakaka (Yamaguchi Nonoka) usually starts her scene hissing or cackling, because…. why wouldn’t she? She’s evil. The villains are comical villains, without being super scary. From my viewing experience is that it seems like this cast is having a lot of fun working off each other, heroes or villains and that really shows in the final product.

Again, I’m not the best judge of this but for the actual tokusatsu stuff is really exceptional. Every character has a harmonious but distinct transformation sequence, special attack, and weaponry. The special effects are obvious, but work for how the world of Bittomo x Senshi is. A few ‘sets’ are reused – Himenyan’s castle, Malakaka’s castle, the setting of the video games, etc but it’s not obnoxious and practical sets are being used in tandem.

There are a few eh things. The main plot details are handled well, but some of the secondary ones are debatable. As an adult certain things stick out to me more then to a kid, but if those details aren’t important to the main story – why bother? Bittomo x Senshi knows where to focus, and that’s on the action. Which at times makes me feel the story is progressing a little too quickly, but that’s more likely my personal viewing experience over anything.

The only negative parts is how about three to four minutes at the beginning are now being allotted every episode to explain past progress. I get it, but I also think that it’s a bit of a waste when the episodes are only twenty-five minutes already. Similarly, as much as the transformation sequences and dances are super cool – spending two minutes per girl, sometimes with all four of them transforming means that eights minutes of content that is reused every episode. So now of a twenty five minute episode, on average about a third is lost to explanations and reused sequences. Then again, the target demographic does not care about this, and as an adult I can just fast forward through them.

So yeah… so far so good with Bittomo x Senshi Kirameki Powers!. This drama isn’t going to be award winning, but for me it’s been really enjoyable to watch. I’m looking forward to the coming episodes and seeing how it all wraps up!

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